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MH-53 Pave Low
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MH-53 Pave Low

MH-53 Pave Low

The MH-53 Pave Low is a USAF helicopter, a version of the CH-53 Super Stallion.

Mission: The Pave Low's mission is low-level, long-range, undetected penetration into denied areas, day or night, in adverse weather, for infiltration, exfiltration and resupply of special operations forces.

Features: The MH-53J Pave Low III heavy-lift helicopter is the largest, most powerful and technologically advanced helicopter in the Air Force inventory. The terrain-following and terrain-avoidance radar, forward-looking infrared sensor, inertial navigation system with global positioning system, along with a projected map display enable the crew to follow terrain contours and avoid obstacles, making low-level penetration possible.

The MH-53M Pave Low IV is a J-model that has been modified with the Interactive Defensive Avionics System/Multi-Mission Advanced Tactical Terminal or IDAS/MATT. The system enhances present defensive capabilities of the Pave Low. It provides instant access to the total battlefield situation, through near real-time Electronic Order of Battle updates. It also provides a new level of detection avoidance with near real-time threat broadcasts over-the-horizon, so crews can avoid and defeat threats, and replan en route if needed.

Under the Pave Low III program, the Air Force modified nine MH-53H's and 32 HH-53s for night and adverse weather operations. Modifications included forward-looking infrared, inertial global positioning system, Doppler navigation systems, terrain-following and terrain-avoidance radar, an on-board computer, and integrated avionics to enable precise navigation to and from target areas. The Air Force designated these modified versions as MH-53J's.

General Characteristics:

Primary Function: Long-range infiltration, exfiltration and resupply of special operations forces in day, night or marginal weather conditions
Builder: Sikorsky
Power Plant: Two General Electric T64-GE/-100 engines
Thrust: 4,330 shaft horsepower (3.2 MW) per engine
Length: 88 ft (28 m)
Height: 25 ft (7.6 m)
Rotary Diameter: 72 ft (21.9 m)
Speed: 165 mph (265 km/h) at sea level
Ceiling: 16,000 ft (4,900 m)
Maximum Takeoff Weight: 46,000 pounds (21,000 kg), Emergency War Plan allows for 50,000 pounds (23,000 kg)
Range: 600 nautical miles (1,100 km), unlimited with aerial refueling
Armament: Combination of three 7.62 mini guns or three .50 caliber (~12.7 mm) machine guns
Crew: Officers, two pilots; enlisted, two flight engineers and two aerial gunners
Date Deployed: 1981
Unit Flyaway Costs: $40 million (fiscal 2001 constant dollars)
Air Force Inventory: Active force, 13 MH-53J's, 25 MH-53M's; Reserve, 0; ANG, 0

This article contains information that originally came from a US Government website, in the public domain.

Modern USAF Series Miscellaneous
Attack--OA/A-10,AC-130H/U RC-135V/RC-135W Rivet Joint
Bomber--B-52,-2,-1B,F-117A OC-135B Open Skies
Fighter--F-15/E ,F-16 KC-10 Extender
Electronic--E-3,-4B,-8C EC-130E/J,H KC-135 Stratotanker
Transport--C-5,-17,-141B, -20,-21 MC-130E/H HC-130P/N
C-22B, -32, -130, -37A, -40B/C MC-130P Combat Shadow
Trainers--T-1, -37, -38, -43, -6 MH-53J/M Pave Low
Weather--WC-130, -135 HH-60G Pave Hawk
UAV--RQ-1/MQ-1 UAV, Global Hawk UH-1N Huey
VC-25 - Air Force One
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